Most parents associate vaccinations with their infants and small children. But, it’s very important to vaccinate your teenager, too! In fact, the rules for school entry in PA have recently changed with regard to teens. Keep reading to learn more about vaccines just for this age group.
- Tetanus, Diptheria, Acellular Pertussis (Tdap); this vaccine protects against:
- Tetanus: a bacteria that is commonly found in dirt and soil and can contaminate wounds
- Diptheria: a bacteria that leads to a respiratory infection that causes a thick coating on the back of the throat
- Acellular Pertussis: also known as Whooping Cough, a severe bacterial infection resulting in long-lasting cough
- Meningitis, group A,C,W,Y (Menactra); this vaccine protects against the bacteria that causes meningitis, an infection of the brain, spinal cord, and the fluids that surround them.
- Human Papilloma Virus (Gardasil-9); this vaccine prevents against 9 different types of Human Papilloma virus, a virus that causes certain types of cancers, including throat and esophagus cancers; cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in women, and penile cancers in men
- Meningitis, group B (Trumenba, Bexero); protects against another sub-type of meningitis that was not previously included in the Menactra vaccine.
- Seasonal Influenza (flu shot); received yearly, this protects against 4 different strains of the influenza virus, both A and B subtypes.
New rules have just been passed regarding school attendance and the importance of receiving vaccines in a timely manner. According to the new rules, all students entering 7th grade must have received a Tdap and Menactra vaccine. If this has not been completed by the start of the school year, students will have 5 days to complete the requirement or make arrangements, or will then be excluded from school. The new regulations also require that students entering 12th grade have a second Menactra vaccine.
If you have questions about your child’s immunization status, please call your primary office.